NTSB Identification: LAX05LA241.
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Accident occurred Thursday, July 21, 2005 in Beaumont, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/30/2006
Aircraft: Bellanca 8GCBC, registration: N629AP
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

While towing a banner and maneuvering in a turn, the airplane entered a descent from which the pilot was unable to recover prior to ground impact in an open area on a golf course. The pilot said that the purpose of the flight was to overfly construction sites surrounding the golf course in Beaumont with a banner in tow. The pilot said there were no discrepancies noted with the takeoff, banner pickup, or the flight towards Beaumont. After reaching his assigned area he began to circle over the construction site. The pilot indicated that during the initial westerly turn to circle the site, the airplane sank rapidly. He added power and made a turn to the east, but the airplane continued to sink. He initially thought he had encountered wind shear and the airplane would fly out of it once the turn was completed. However, as the airplane continued to descend, he thought that the airplane might be experiencing an engine failure. He decided to make a forced landing in an open area on the golf course. Witnesses observed the airplane at a nose-high pitch attitude as it descended, and noted the banner being drugged through trees prior to being released. A post accident inspection of the engine revealed no preimpact mechanical anomalies that would have precluded the engine from producing full power. The propeller displayed damage consistent with being driven under power at impact. The banner release mechanism was functionally tested. Review of weather conditions in the local area around the time of the accident revealed wind conditions of 5 knots or less, both on the ground and aloft, with no other atmospheric conditions conducive to wind shear or down bursts.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

the pilot's failure to maintain an adequate airspeed while maneuvering that led to an inadvertent stall/mush. The pilot's delayed decision to release the banner was also causal.

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